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Ski Touring - Birchy Hill | Gros Morne Outdoor Company
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Ski Touring – Birchy Hill

Ski Touring – Birchy Hill

Birchy Hill

Birch Hill - Landslide

“Birchy Hill” located in Gros Morne National Park on the north side of “South East Hills” is a great area of tree skiing in the park.  Accessed off of Route 430 (See below) just after crossing the Southeast Brook Bridge (travelling north) on the right-hand side of the road.  I usually pull off on the side of the road, however, there is a Parks Canada pull-off located 500 meters further north on the right-hand side of the road.

There are a few areas to Ski on Birchy Hill, and by far the most popular, and accessible is “The Landslide”, but if you’re a little more adventurous and in the mood to explore a little more, there are a few more spots to check out.

 

Birchy Hill Start Location

Trailhead: Roadside of route 431 “The Viking Trail”, at the bottom of South East Hills on the north side of South East Brook Bridge, approximately 11km north of Wiltondale at 21U 451048 5479055

The Landslide

Round Trip Distance: 3.75 km, Total Vertical: 400m Line Vertical: 150m- 130m

Approach: Heading north from the highway, the skin track makes use of an old “cut road”, before users have to pick through open forest (I usually use the river a rough guide when climbing).  Users will eventually hit the open slope, the recent landslide, criss-cross as needed to get to the top.   

Return: Reverse approach from bottom of line

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Notes: The route offers two ski lines, 150m, and 130m of relief respectively, with start zones approximately 100m apart. The larger and further south of the two routes offer a great run over a recent landslide and is mainly devoid of trees.  The 130m run is mainly in trees, with the lower 40 meters making use of a recent landslide.

 

Meadow

Round Trip Distance: 4 km, Total Vertical: 500m Line Vertical: 150m

Approach: Heading north from the highway, the skin track makes use of an old “cut road” before users need to cross a brook and head north east before picking the trail back up.  Users will eventually hit thick forest before dropping into the line.  

I have also done laps on the approach, past the brook, low angle, safe, and hard to miss

Return: Skin back up to the ridge and ride the approach out to before the brook crossing, where users can head south, downhill, for an additional 120 meter of relief through the trees. After hitting the utility line, users head west to the trailhead. OR you can return on your skin track directly back. 

Notes: The obvious beauty of the route is the ski out, which utilizes the ridge used in the approach, and an open tree slope which provides an additional 120 meters of relief. 

Long Line

Round Trip Distance: 3 km, Total Vertical: 340m Line Vertical: 280m

Approach: Heading north from the highway, the skin track makes use of an old “cut road” before users have to cross a brook, and head north east until near the top of the ridge, where users have to cut back and head southwest on top of the ridge for 250 meters.

Return: Upon hitting the utility line at the bottom of the run, follow it west to the trailhead.

Notes: It’s a difficult line to put together without spending some time to figure it out.

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